Rochdale drew 1-1 with Manchester United in round three of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford, ultimately exiting the competition via a penalty shootout.
Dale matched their Premier League opponents all the way, and despite the hosts taking the lead through Mason Greenwood, 16-year-old Luke Matheson equalised to secure the draw in 90 minutes, after a fantastic performance from Brian Barry-Murphy’s men.
The Dale boss made two changes from the weekend’s game at Fleetwood Town, as Jimmy Keohane and Aaron Morley came in for Eoghan O’Connell and Rekeil Pyke.
Dale settled into the game well, and although United had the majority of chances, albeit ambitious, Barry-Murphy’s side more than held their own.
World Cup winner Paul Pogba fired a number of efforts well off target, whilst also heading over a Greenwood cross from close range.
Marcos Rojo sent a number of efforts wide, whilst Dale stopper Robert Sánchez made a number of strong stops from Andrea Pereira, Jesse Lingard and Greenwood.
Lingard also sent a header onto the roof of the net, whilst Dale had moments of their own breaking forward, without being able to carve out a clear-cut opportunity.
However, Dale were inches away from breaking the deadlock seven minutes after the break. United Academy graduate Ollie Rathbone broke into the area and managed to reach the byline, before pulling the ball back for Callum Camps, who saw a first-time effort acrobatically cleared off the line by Aaron Wan-Bissaka.
The resulting corner was partially cleared as far as Camps, whose well-struck volley flew narrowly over.
Fred, Lingard and Pogba all shot wide for the hosts, whilst Sánchez saved well from Greenwood after he had been laid off by substitute Daniel James.
However, the United youngster did beat Sánchez in the 68th minute, pulling the ball back onto his left foot inside the area and firing low into the near bottom corner.
Camps saw a low shot held and Aaron Morley fired over, before Dale equalised through first-year scholar Matheson.
Rathbone was found down the left side of the penalty area, and he looped a ball up to the back-post where Matheson came steaming in, to volley home ten-yards out.
Greenwood and Wan-Bissaka fired off target as the hosts responded, and Sánchez made good saves from Fred and Pereira, as Dale forced a penalty shootout against their illustrious opponents.
Jimmy Keohane, who had been outstanding in an unfamiliar role of centre-half, was the unfortunate Dale player to have his spot-kick saved, as all other penalties from both sides found the back of the net, with James scoring the winner for United.
The players and staff went over to the fantastic travelling Dale fans, who responded with a standing ovation, recognising the superb performance from Barry-Murphy’s men.